Starting a YouTube channel for trading card games is very easy and you don't need to spend a lot of money on your equipment and software. I was inspired by GalacticGod and SimplyUnlucky to shoot TCG videos on YouTube. I started Awesome Card Games on May 31, 2011. Improving my channel has always been my most important goal. I always want to make better videos for my audience to enjoy every minute of my videos. I am not going to tell you what types of videos to shoot for your channel. That decision is yours to make. The genre has a variety of videos to create for fun. There are deck profiles, discussions, games, interviews, news, and openings. Pick which videos are best for you.
I am going to make a list of useful equipment and resources to aid your channel's development. You need to know how to start a channel before you can decide which videos you are going shoot for your channel. I had to learn from experience. I rushed into making my channel before I was truly ready. Last year I felt my channel was truly ready to publish content on a regular basis with the basic tools that are needed for every TCG channel.
1. Get The Right Equipment
First, you need to buy the right equipment and software. One of the biggest mistakes by many YouTubers is starting a channel too early without the proper equipment. Quality is your key to success. Nobody is going to look at poor quality videos. You can grow a larger audience by providing videos with good quality.
You need a camera to shoot videos in HD. This will be the most expensive item on the list, and life will be easy sailing pass this point. The majority of my videos are shot with my IPhone 5. It's good enough to get the job done. The videos are in 1080HD and have a clear picture. I also use a 50 Inch Aluminum Camera Tripod to hold my IPhone. It was very inexpensive. It costed around $12 on Amazon. You can't beat that price. I had an eight inch tripod, but it was too short for shooting games. A 50 inch tripod can shoot a variety of videos at the best angles for my type of videos.
I edited my videos in Windows Live Movie Maker. It is a free program from Microsoft. It is not as powerful as some video editors. However, it gets the job done. I place my intro, video, and outro in a video's layout. The music is added after everything is perfectly placed together. One video will take at least an hour to edit and create in HD.
2. Make Your Thumbnails
A thumbnail is a video's preview picture. Youtubers use thumbnails to entice viewers to watch the video. I am also lured into watching a video with a cool thumbnail. Making thumbnails is very easy, and it only takes five to ten minutes to make one. Anyone can do it! You can either use Photoshop or use the free program Gimp. I use Gimp because it is free and has all tools that I need for my thumbnails.
3. Use Reward Programs
Take advantage of reward programs. They are your best friends. You can easily save money on trading cards with Reward Programs. I've made over $300 last year from Quick Rewards. I spent this money on booster packs, single cards, special editions, and starter decks. All my deck profiles from last year were completed thanks to reward programs.
Fiverr is an awesome website with many talented individuals. People offer their services for at least five dollars. There are people that can help enhanced your channel. People make intros, outros, thumbnails, and graphics for videos. Find an experienced artist who makes intros and outros. I purchased my channel's intro and logo on Fiverr, and I had a good experienced with the sellers. Your channel will look professional in no time.
5. Do NOT Use Copyrighted Materials
A lot of people make the assumption that every piece of media on the internet is free. The truth is some materials are owned by their rightful owners. Never use music and photos without the owner's permission or without a license. You will not be able to legally monetize your videos without rights to a song. You may lose your channel if you take the risk of using a person's copyrighted materials in a video.
YouTube offers free music for everyone on the site. There is music for every genre available for your videos. I am always looking for heavy metal music to add to my videos. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for every song before adding it into your video. Some artists require credit in the video's description and others do not have any requirements.
I shot a few matches on videos two weeks ago. I noticed an issue with the audio because there was background noise from a football game on TV at my hobby store. I replaced the original audio with free music from YouTube. I avoided a strike and kept my video 100% my property. Nobody can claim my video.
The Final Word
Having a YouTube channel is fun and it requires a lot of hard work. I am still a long ways away from being where I want to be. I am still learning new methods to improve my content. I hope my tips have helped newcomers prepare themselves before filming content without any ideas on how to set up a channel. Have fun shooting your videos!